Deputy President William Ruto on Sunday told off President Uhuru Kenyatta over his criticism of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance manifesto, saying the plan was arrived at after consultations with thousands of Kenyans.
The DP said 90,000 Kenyans drawn from all sectors of the economy had contributed to the manifesto, making it the reason “some people have a problem with the details in our plan”.
Speaking at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) during the 100th International Cooperative Day on Saturday, President Kenyatta criticised DP Ruto for making promises he would not fulfil.
He told the DP he has had the opportunity to serve Kenyans during his tenure in the Jubilee administration and do the same things he is promising, and accused him of abdicating his responsibility.
But addressing residents of Laare town in Igembe North on his second day tour of Meru County, Dr Ruto asked the President to “stop worrying”, saying he would take the country forward if he wins the August 9 polls.
He said the reason the Kenya Kwanza plan contains aspects of the Jubilee 2017 manifesto is that during the second term of Jubilee administration, the Big Four agenda was derailed when Mr Kenyatta started working with Mr Raila Odinga.
He said government projects stalled when Mr Odinga joined the government and pursued the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) while he was sidelined.
“Uhuru Kenyatta, don’t worry my friend, I will take this country forward. You know my capacity and you know that I can deliver so go to your retirement with confidence that when I take over, this country will take huge strides of development," Dr Ruto said.
“Our manifesto is clear on how we will revive the economy and put the money in the pockets of Kenyans. We have a plan on agriculture, SMEs, manufacturing and other sectors of the economy, so don’t worry,” he added.
DP Ruto was accompanied by his running mate Rigathi Gachagua, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, senators Prof Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka-Nithi) and Mithika Linturi (Meru).
DP Ruto also criticised Azimio La Umoja Coalition running mate Martha Karua, saying she did not have the moral authority to “lecture” politicians on how to respect President Kenyatta.
On Saturday, Ms Karua led other Azimio politicians when she spoke at Ol Kalou, Nyandarua County, in castigating DP Ruto over his plans to set up a tribunal to investigate the Jubilee administration.
“The same people who opposed the President in 2013 and 2017 are the same ones pretending to defend him. They are the same people who wanted Uhuru to be jailed at The Hague yet now they are making the loudest noise over how we should respect the President,” the DP said.
“When said we will probe state capture we meant that we will deal with corruption and people who want to enrich themselves as well as eradicate conflict of interest in a manner that does not antagonise anyone,” he added.
Prof Kindiki said the Kenya Kwanza government would deal with cartels that had taken the economy hostage, adding that President Kenyatta was not in that plan.
“Mr Kenyatta is not part of the cartels we will deal with. We know he is a respectable leader but some few individuals have used his name in the last few years of his administration and we will not allow cartels to take over this country,” he said.
Mr Gachagua also hit out at Ms Karua, saying she was pretending to be on Mr Kenyatta’s side “yet there is no time she had supported him.”
“Karua ran against Uhuru in 2013 and has always gone against the wishes of Mt Kenya residents. She even walked out on President Mwai Kibaki whom we respect a lot when she was given a ministry,”said Mr Gachagua.
Yesterday, the leaders attended a service at St Thomas Catholic church in Igembe South where DP Ruto promised the congregation that his administration would continue respecting the church.